Bunty is one of our longest serving employees. She manages to combine her job as Head Guide with running her own Stud Farm just outside the village of Sildchester. We are also fortunate to have her services as our First Aid Officer and she brings her long experience in animal welfare to this demanding post. Her no nonsense approach ensures the smooth runnning of the tours as ailing visitors are swiftly tucked out of sight in the cupboard beside the minstrels’ gallery. She has no problem identifying an unconscious patient - a quick stab with a hat pin is a very efficient diagnostic tool. If, on the other hand, the casualty can’t be moved, she is able to draw on her long equestrian experience and calls for a screen to be erected around them while she puts them out of their misery. Bunty is a great exponant of cat litter as a panacea for cleaning up all bodily fluids.
One of our older guides Claude traces his ancestry back to the Kings of Ancient Egypt. Indeed scholars have remarked that his likeness to the funeral mask of Rameses II is quite remarkable. He is an iron man. No weather prevents his five mile walk to Sild Hall in a light cotton shirt. Visitors to Sild Hall have said there is no greater pleasure than seeing Claude bray with laughter at the most unusual scenarios. Claude is the custodian of the Bomford Collection. Claude Hipkiss is ninety-three.
Our archivist BS Moreton brings his great personal charm to his much sought-after special tours about the Ladies of Sild Hall. Follow him through the Hall and let him unfold a world of fat-lipped love, plunging necklines and raven-wing black-haired beauties down the centuries. His extensive and scholarly research among the archives in the basements of the Hall has revealed many of the more personal secrets of these lovely ladies andhas broughthim a great deal of personal gratification.
Noel is another one of our mature guides and after many years of high finance in Hong Kong, he has retired to a quieter vocation at Sild Hall. Noel is a great admirer of the female sex, and no well turned ankle or shapely backside escapes his beady and roving eye. He is the custodian of the Dywenydd Collection. This guide is not recommended for all-female groups.
A new, and youngish member of the team, Max has a rather chequered past which he uses to add colour to his tours and as well as an uncanny realism to his tales of ancient Sild Hall scandles. It may be of interest to certain visitors that Max is extremely competent poker player. However, Sild Hall accepts no liability for the extracurricula acitivities of this individual although the Earl is happy to host The Max Black Poker Tournaments here are the Hall. However, serious students of history should avoid his tours.
This lithsome guide is also the assistant to BS Moreton. Max Black has described the sight of Flora gliding down the corridors of Sild Hall as one of the finest rear views in the border counties and Noel Canterbury has been heard to mutter, “All that and an Aston Martin too.”
Dorothy is our longest serving member of staff, in fact she has been conducting her tour unchanged for over thirty years with her trademark malifluous sing-song delivery. Although Dorothy can be negative about the working conditions, and her own health, she always does it with a cheerful laugh and is in reality is fit as a flea.
One of our most elegant and best dressed guides Lawrence is not always available because, as a resting actor, he can be called to audition at a moment’s notice. He is particularly recommended for the hard of hearing because he has the most fabulous projection. A keen cricketer, he is always happy to bat for the other team if numbers are short.
Roger combines his job as guide at Sild Hall with both his activities on the bench and his devotion to his work for Sildchester Freechurch. A towering presence at the Hall, we do not recommend ladies of any age take his one-to-one tour of the organ loft which the management team would like to stress is not part of the official visitors’ route.
Edwina ‘Weenie’ Lemon
Weenie, for her own reasons, prefers her name to be pronounced Limon (to rhyme with Dijon) as opposed to its more common and sour pronunciation. There is a great deal of doubt about this lady’s age and the management of Sild Hall wish to state that her given age of fifty-eight has not changed in the last decade. She bears no resemblance to our elegant and charming 13th Countess of Sild.
Being only four foot eight high, Annie is often overlooked but visitors find that they warm to her rapidly and she is a most important member of the team. Annie is an retired local schoolteacher and knows a great deal of gossip and much of the history of Sild Hall that isn’t revealed in the visitors’ guidebook.
The Major is another huge physical presence looming like a ship in full sail behind the bookstall where you will find him either doing The Times crossword or napping gently on a warm afternoon. The management of Sild Hall would be most grateful if visitors should strictly refrain from responding to the Major’s unfortunate habit of importuning for tips.
Sandra used to work as assistant to BS Moreton, the archivist, but this year has been replaced by Flora. Sandra has proved to be a welcome addition to the guiding team as she feels a deep spiritual connection with a past Countess of Sild. Perhaps for this reason what at first seems a superficially light and pleasant tour, is in reality a deep sojourn into the heart of Sild Hall’s darker secrets.
By far our most sensitive guide, visitors must excuse some of her nervous mannerisms. Nerys’s tours have been tailored to cope with her aversion to the Brown Drawing Room which she has always had trouble entering. We ask you to be particularly sympathetic towards Nerys who is back from a long sabbatical.
Without question the youngest member of the guiding staff, Stanley is a mature student. Although his enthusiasm and knowledge is not in question, he has been known to irritate a number of the other guides by correcting them. He works during the college breaks, is always first in, and spends most of his time mugging up on the history of the Hall.